Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Yusuf Islam on Jimmy Fallon (Video)

Yusuf Islam

Come on, raise your hand -- you know you've been a fan of  Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) over the years! In anticipation of his induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the popular singer/songwriter appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," performing some of his most popular hits. Take a look: And one more! Like so many, I've loved Yusuf Islam's music over the years and have appreciated his Islamic journey, from when he turned away from the music of his past, to his … [Read more...]

It’s Ok to Say, Why?

why

Maybe I’m wrong. I could very well be entirely wrong on this, but I am reminded of a hadith saying that Allah (God) loves us 70 times more than our own mother. And so I feel I’m allowed to do this. We are all allowed to lift up our arms in anger and frustration to Him, to vent as we would vent to our mother, husband or best friend, and He will Love us just the same. That at times expressing my anger and frustration in no way takes away from the trust I have that there is something to all … [Read more...]

What Drives Muslim Reverts/Converts to Distance Themselves from Other Muslims?

"Hey, you, yeah, you. The lady with the tattoos. The gal with the eyebrow piercings The chick with the blue hair. There is room for you in Islam." Nancy Qualls-Shehata, a revert/convert who blogs as the "Muslimah in Progress" at Patheos Muslim, wrote this great post two years back about how Islam has room for everyone. The one in tattoos, the one with piercings, the one in high heels and hair all a-flowing, the one "poured into skinny jeans." Knowing that too many times that the … [Read more...]

Br. Omar Suleiman Speaks About People with Special Needs and their Families

First I was tagged in the video. Then it was posted to my wall and sent to me via a private message from a friend. Then, every faith-based, especially Muslim-based special needs group I am a part of on Facebook posted this video posted to their respective walls. And though I'm not on Twitter hardly, I'm sure the link is being shared generously there. I'm talking about this video by Imam Omar Suleiman, director of the Islamic Learning Foundation and an instructor at Mishkah Univesity, Al Maghrib … [Read more...]

Do You ‘Mawlid’ One Day, One Month or All the Time?

Prophet Muhammad love

We trotted out an old classic this past weekend in our home – The Message, directed by Moustapha Akkad in 1977, and gathered mine and my sister-in-law’s children for a viewing. Being that it’s the month of Rabi’Awwal, which is considered to be the birth-month of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), my sister-in-law thought it would be a good way to reintroduce our kids to his message and his struggles in bringing Islam to the world. I remembered watching this film as a child myself, and how … [Read more...]

What is the Gift in All This?

Photo by DeAnna Nicole Photography

Sometimes the memories resurface with such veracity so as to take my breath away with the pain and utter helplessness I have tried to bury. Maybe we are not meant to forget our worst times. Maybe they are to be reminders so that we appreciate everything better that comes before and after, even when that better doesn’t seem good enough. I am sitting on our sofa in our family room settling in to watch some TV. The kids have gone to bed under protest. The house is quiet and I’ve turned the … [Read more...]

Are We Still Talking About the Hijab? Well, Yes

hijab meme

There's a lot brewing in the American autism community this week, and while I'm mulling things over and how I feel about it (it's coming in a later post, I promise), I thought I'd leave autism out of the picture today (gasp! Is that possible?) and share with you some interesting hijab-related articles that have come my way from some our wonderful Patheos bloggers. I rarely write about the hijab (headscarf) on my blog, because there are much better writers covering all angles of this … [Read more...]

A Special Eid for Special Needs Children – A Day of Dignity with Islamic Relief USA

Tawaf

There are a few activities we really look forward to every year with Lil D, events geared towards the special needs population that embrace them and cater to their different needs; events that make every effort of accommodation and celebrate individuals with different abilities. These are the events where we can take easy breaths and not worry over the thousand little details we usually worry about. The events where we can say, these is our tribe, and nothing my kid does or doesn’t do will … [Read more...]

9/11 – How Do We Keep Praying When it Often Feels Like too Much?

Candle in the dark

A dear friend posted the question on social media last night – What is your 9/11 memory? The responses came flooding in, and as things are wont to happen in this day and age, my husband and I, sitting on opposite ends of the couch, both responded on our phones – our answers posting within seconds of each other. He at the hospital, the last year of residency in midtown Manhattan, in a patient’s room when they both turned to the television to witness the horrors occurring mere miles away. … [Read more...]

Embracing (and Including) Autism and Special Needs Families in Muslim Communities

crescent and star clouds

The day after speaking at the 50th annual Islamic Society of North American conference in Washington, D.C., I was back at home in my basement hanging with Lil D. He was roaming about, spinning his beads and calling “Maw-maw! Maw-maw! Maw-maw” – very much caught up in his stim and oblivious to the world. Every so often he stopped and would come close to me, put his face in mine and say nonsensical words like “Oweeowee owee. Maw-maw! Maw-maw!” As if to say – ok Mamma, you had an … [Read more...]